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Understanding the proposed super changes (a 30 something guide)

Superannuation  |  10/10/2016  |   3 min read

Some background

The Turnbull Government proposed a number of superannuation changes in the May 2016 Federal Budget. These amendments need to be passed in parliament before they can take effect.

Why does the government want to implement these changes? 

The Government says the proposed changes are designed to make super more equitable, and ensure it's used for its intened purpose - building a long term retirement income - rather than a tax-reduction and estate planning scheme by wealthier Australians. Any negative impact from the changes will mostly affect a relatively small and wealthy segment of the community, with low income earners continuing to receive assistance. 

What are the proposed changes?

1.    Changes to the concessional contributions (CC) cap

Translation: At the moment people can contribute up to $35,000 in annual pre-tax income towards their super account ($30,000 if they’re under 50). This money is taxed at a flat 15%, rather than the higher marginal tax rate. The proposed changes would reduce the contribution limit to a flat $25,000.
People who do not reach the yearly cap will be allowed to carry it forward for up to five years and $125,000.

Projected savings: $2.5 billion in ‘forward estimates’.

2.    Reducing the Division 293 threshold for high-income earners

Translation: Australians who earn over $300,000 a year and make pre-tax contributions to their super are currently charged 30% tax (rather than the standard 15%) on these contributions. The new law would reduce the income threshold to $250,000. 

Projected savings: $2.5 billion over 4 years.


3.    Lifetime non-concessional contributions (NCC) cap

Translation: There is currently an $180,000 annual limit on extra (after tax) contributions to your super. This will be revised down to $100,000 per annum. The proposed change will make it harder for high income earners to use super as a tax shelter. Plans to impose a $500,000 lifetime limit on after tax contributions first mentioned in the 2016 Federal Budget have been scrapped. 

Projected savings: $550 million over four years

 

4.    Low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO)

Translation: The government will retain the contributions tax refund of up to $500 for low income earners. This is to help ensure many low income earners don't pay more contributions tax through super than they would pay in income tax outside of super.
Projected cost: $1.6 billion over four years.

Will I be impacted by all this?

There are four basic scenarios under which you may be impacted (assuming the legislation is passed).

1.    You make more than $25,000 in contributions annually
2.    You annual income exceeds $250,000
3.    You have a super balance that exceeds $1.6 million
4.    You plan to make larger voluntary contributions 

How does the opposition feel about all this?

Labor has indicated its support for some of the proposed changes. 

Speaking with the Financial Review, Treasurer Scott Morrison stated that he had briefed shadow treasurer Chris Bowen on the updated package, and that Labor has “no excuse whatsoever not to immediately support this. It removes every impediment that Labor has mentioned."

What happens next?

Parliament will be debating and voting on the above changes over the coming months.

Where can I get more information?

To find out more about the proposed superannuation changes and how they may affect your super and retirement please organise an appointment with an Equip Financial Planner. For more details click here.



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